Disabled champs bound for Ajax
The women competing in the Sirius Satellite Winternational later this month will not be the only World Cup-caliber skiers testing their mettle on Ajax’s slopes this winter.Challenge Aspen, the Aspen Skiing Co., and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced Wednesday that they are teaming up to host the 2007 International Paralympic Committee Alpine World Cup on Jan. 17-22, according to a news release. Teams from across the world – Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Australia and Germany – will travel to Aspen to take part in two super Gs, giant slaloms and slaloms. Eighty of the world’s most accomplished disabled skiers are scheduled to take part.The event will mark the beginning of the 2007 Disabled World Cup season and will encompass six of the circuit’s 17 planned races. Racers will travel from Aspen to British Columbia for three races then, after a break, will head to Abtenau, Austria, for five races in early March. The World Cup Finals will take place March 14 at Arte Therme Zoncolan in Italy. The stop will be pivotal as countries battle to claim the Nations Cup, awarded at season’s end to the best overall team. Winners in the three disciplines earn individual globes.”Challenge Aspen is very excited to host the fastest disabled skiers in the world this January and show the town of Aspen how incredible they really are,” director of skiing Kevin Jardine said in the news release. Jardine, a native of the Roaring Fork Valley, was a coach for the U.S. Paralympic Team and the U.S. Disabled Alpine Team last season. He and coach Bryan Peterson, also a valley native, helped securing the bid for Aspen. Ultimately, Aspen was chosen because of the excitement generated during previous World Cup events. Skico hosted its first international competition – the FIS World Championships – in 1950.
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American giant slalom stud Ted Ligety won six times at Birds of Prey, be it five World Cups and/or gold in the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, but we have to remember what a struggle it was for him to get there.